Continuing my track record of never blogging in a timely manner, yesterday was the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker
. Why do we have such a Feast in the Church?
The immediate cause was to provide a Christian alternative to the Communist holiday of May Day
. (A day I'm sad to say was celebrated in my Catholic preschool, while I believe St. Joseph was left unmentioned. The 70s sucked. Especially for the Church.)
A second consideration, I'm sure, was a simple acknowledgement that people work to provide for their family and who better to serve as their patron than the man who worked to provide and care for our Savior?
I think, though, we often get the idea that work is something we have to put up with grudgingly, that if things were better, we wouldn't have to work. I'm not so sure that's the case. After all, we had to work even when we were in paradise. ("The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it." - Gen 3:15
) From the moment of our creation, we were expected to work by God, even in the Paradise of Eden. So, there must be something about work that is important for us to do.
What might that be?
I think Work is a reminder that there is something greater than ourselves. I work as a programmer, so I have to make sure my code serves the needs of my customers and helps them do their work more efficiently. Parents work to serve their children and meet their needs. Adam was working to serve God directly, whereas we serve Him in others.
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others,
knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Whatever you do, do it for Christ. When working on programs, I need to remember that I am doing it for someone who has Christ in them. When I put flowers on my front porch (as I hope to do this weekend), I am doing it so my neighbors, who have Christ in them, can see something nicer than my stone porch and have something that will create more oxygen for them to breathe. In everything I do for myself or someone else, I must do it with the knowledge that I am doing it for someone who has Christ in them.